Saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new on the path least traveled…

Dear Diary Page 46…..

Hello Diary,
Were going to wait till after the holidays but the New Year is close and the old is getting ready to leave…. and have some quiet time….setting here pondering what the coming year might bring and how best to start the year.. believe Mark Twain said it best; “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover, acquire new friends and gain knowledge of yourself and the world.”

So reminisced about a few things of the past I didn’t do… once had the spirit to go turkey hunting, wild turkey that is… 😀 years back I purchased a compound bow..

compound bow

Spent time on practicing and setting it up, made my own arrows and they worked well….


But world events prevented me from going into the actual hunt, and by the time order was restored, arthritis had entered the scene and the compound was no longer the option….decided to bring in the heavy artillery, my 150 lb. crossbow…

crossbow 2

Again, world events interfered with plans before I could get the crossbow set up and arrows made for it, by the time order was restored, I no longer had any desire to hunt period, let alone bow hunt turkey.. From that point on did all my hunting at the local grocery store… cheaper, more variety and already cleaned.. 😀 keep the crossbow around should I run across a zombie.. 😀

Also built my own fishing poles (a muskie pole unfinished);

rod building

unfinished pole

And lures…

shad minnow

Now, you ask me why I was making a muskie pole and large lure for here in the prairies of Illinois.. Well, when they first started stocking Clinton Lake, they were going to put some tiger muskellunge in the lake and I was asked if I would like to adopt one, for a small fee of course.. And I did…why I ever named it Bad News I will never no.. 😀

fish paper

Anyway, got a map showing the location where they turned the fish loose…

fish map

Again, world affairs stepped in and I never got to visit, or use the special pole and lure I was working on… as far as I know the fish is still in the lake, being bad news…. 😀

Two things, of many, I did not get done.. do I regret it, not really, but I will be following Mark Twains advice to some degree with the year to come as we venture down the path least traveled… exploring, enjoying the hobbies, leaving no stone unturned (Bree will see to that!!… 😀 ) and perhaps share adventures with a close friend…Que Sara Sara on the path least traveled, Fate be willin’ and the creeks done rise… 😀

So the time is near to turn this year into memories and say goodbye….

And when the days become dark and bleak, the wind cold and one looks to the horizon with a bit of doubt creeping in, just remember the advice of Barbra Streisand…

And the Seekers..

And until the magic hour strikes 12 and the new year arrives, will be reminiscing a bit about history’s past with Yanni..

Keeping a eye on the weather on the path least traveled..

I have been ask on a number of occasions of what time I get up in the morning and some are shocked when I tell them and ask what I have to do with the weather… well, I have some time on my hands so, while trying to keep it brief, will attempt to explain… I will be posting documents to help explain and in doing so I am not bragging, but using those documents as a means to verify that I am who I am and what I am doing, not just someone on the internet making this up… 😀

That being said, this village is part of the Conkey Branch Watershed which runs off into the local streams and rivers..after the last tornado in 1996 and with all the changes in the weather, I became interested in keeping track of the climate and weather locally… had been doing that for some time, during which the NWS in Lincoln, Illinois had established the Significant Weather Observer Program to get volunteers to assist them with real time weather observations, 24/7…. And I became one of them in 2000/early 2001…


they were impressed with my attempts at furnishing as accurate and timely information as possible..

swop document

and they ask me if I would like to be a Cooperative observer, I said yes, and became a Coop observer on Sept 1, 2001…


And whether snow, sleet, hail or gloom of night I make every attempt to furnish as accurate and timely info as I can and for that I get a occasional thank you.. 😀

thank you

With the exception of the rain gauge (which belongs to the weather service), all other instruments used are mine, and with both programs being voluntary, I do not get paid and all my expenses are borne by me… 😀

So, irregardless of the weather ( and, yes, I do venture outdoors… 😀 ), I get up early to gather the data so by 6 am I send this info to the Climatic Data Center, NOAA

coop super form

coop spread sheet

And this info to the NWS Lincoln, Illinois…

swop daily weather

Sooooooooooooooo, tomorrow on Christmas morning, while all of you are all snuggled in your warm and comfy bed with visions of sugar plums, presents and winning the lottery dancing through your mind, here on the path least traveled, will be venturing out into the elements in the dark of night thinking “you just had to be different, didn’t you Woller.. “ 😀

Merry Christmas everyone!!…

Prepared for the holiday on the path least traveled

Dear Diary,

Update here… a dreary, somewhat stormy day here.. the weather radio going off doesn’t do anything for the Christmas music.. 😀 so far the worst of it staying to the south and north, mainly too much rain and wind… the main event not suppose to be here till later today…with that in mind decided to prepare supper for tonight early this morning, then all I need to do is heat it.. got to thinking and decided to do supper for Christmas eve and Christmas day also…

With that plan, I started the ham;

cooking ham

While the ham was cooking, I put together tonights (Wednesday) supper;

tonights supper

Got tonights supper finished and started on Christmas eve supper… in the past we would usually have soup and sandwiches, usually chili, but opted for homemade chicken noodle soup this time…

christmas eve supper

Finished Christmas eve supper and puttered around the house a bit while waiting for the ham to finish, decided to shower also before the stormy weather arrived, ham was done by then….

slicing the ham

And got Christmas supper ready;

Christmas supper

So, now all the meals are prepared, mess is cleaned up and now can enjoy the holiday, no cooking or doing dishes… how cool is that?!… 😀

Sooooooooooooooo, are prepared for the holiday presents ready, tree is ready, Bree is ready, storm or no storm, snow or no snow…Bree has designated herself as watch dog for the Christmas presents in the event of severe weather, at least hers anyway, not sure about mine….:D and so it goes as we venture on down the path least traveled, Fate be willin’ and the creeks don’t rise…

Whatever the weather, no doubt the little folk are excited with all the activities and presents….

No doubt Glen Campbell had me in mind when he sang this song.. 😀

A Stormy Start to Chrismas Eve on the Path Least Traveled…..

Dear Diary,

Not a normal blog here but a weather update for Wednesday the 23rd… a downside to having spring weather in December… 😀

The weather story;

severe tstms2

Discussion from ILX Lincoln, Illinois;

A potentially volatile day is unfolding on Wednesday as deepening
low pressure tracks from near Kansas City early in the day to Lake
Superior by evening. Strong southerly winds gusting to between 30
and 40 mph ahead of the approaching system will bring an
unseasonably warm and humid airmass into Illinois, with afternoon
high temperatures climbing to near record levels in the middle 60s
and surface dewpoints reaching the middle to upper 50s. Models
continue to show strong instability developing for this time of
year, with NAM SBCAPES of 500-1000J/kg and lifted index values of -2
to -4C. At the same time, 0-6km bulk shear will increase to between
70 and 80kt along/south of the I-70 corridor. Latest Day 2
convective outlook from SPC now places all areas east of the
Illinois River under a Slight Risk for severe. Based on current
projections and model forecast parameters, it appears the primary
severe weather threats will be damaging wind gusts and large hail,
although an isolated tornado will also be possible given the
increasing shear values. The main time frame for severe will be
during the afternoon east of the Illinois River, shifting to
along/east of the I-57 corridor by early evening. Cold front will
sweep through the region by around midnight, with rain chances
ending overnight.

From Matt Barnes, ILX, Lincoln, Illinois;

SWOP: Severe Weather Possible on Wednesday, December 23rd

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has indicated that a SLIGHT RISK for severe weather exists everywhere east of the Illinois River on Wednesday, December 23rd.  Please monitor future updates to the convective outlooks here:

An unseasonably warm and moist airmass will stream northward into Illinois ahead of an approaching storm system on Wednesday, with afternoon high temperatures reaching the middle 60s and surface dewpoints climbing well into the 50s.  This will produce unusually strong instability for this time of year, with resulting Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) values ranging from 500-1000J/kg.  In addition, low-level wind shear will increase markedly, particularly along/south of I-70.  As low pressure tracks from near Kansas City Wednesday morning to Lake Superior by evening, it will pull a cold front into central Illinois during the afternoon and evening.  Several lines of thunderstorms will likely develop ahead/along the front, with the main severe weather threats being damaging wind gusts and large hail.  An isolated tornado will also be possible, especially across southeast Illinois. 

DATE: Wednesday, December 23rd

TIME: 2 PM to 8 PM

LOCATION: Everywhere east of the Illinois River

THREATS: Damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, large hail around quarter-sized, isolated tornadoes

SWOP ACTION: Please relay any reports of wind damage or hail via the online form as quickly as possible.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Matt Barnes
SWOP Program Leader    

Will let Yanni do the honors today, has a song for the occasion… 😀

The holidays, soon time to send out the old, bring in the new on the path least traveled..

Dear Diary Page 46…

Dear Diary,

Thought I would pop in one more time before getting on with the holiday and all the tomorrows… it appears it will not be a white Christmas here.. 😀

weather pic

But the tree is ready;

xmas tree

Presents are in position;

xmas presents

And Christmas is not about snow, how many lights are on the tree or how many presents ( nor the cost) but the spirit… a spirit of friendship, giving, tolerance to others, goodwill to all creatures,, of sharing thoughts with those close and some not so close…. and that spirit will be here irregardless, snow or no snow… was going to let Bing Crosby do the honors with White Christmas but with the weather being so unpredictable, one has to be careful of what one wishes for, so will let Burl Ives do the honors.. 😀

And, soon it will be time to say goodbye to the year 2015, and what a year it has been, cannot describe it in 40 words or less.. 😀 will store the memories, but as we must, say goodbye and will let the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have the honors….

As you know, Diary, I were debating about how much blogging to do over the holiday and believe this will be the last one till after the New Year… will be busy enjoying the holiday, doing minor tasks around the house as part of planning and chartering and setting a new course for the coming year and all those years that will follow…but (quoting a famous general) I shall return, to share thoughts and adventures on the path least traveled, Fate be willin’ and the creeks don’t rise…

Once again, will have the Dragoon Guards send out the old and bring in the new…

And for everyone, irregardless of where you are, who you are and/or what you may believe:
May there be a gentle breeze to your back always
May your spirit know freedom eternal
May you mind know only peace
May your heart know only love
May each and every day be filled with love and happiness..

Larry “Dutch” Woller

More Christmas cheer on the path least traveled

Dear Diary Page 45…

Dear Diary,

Stopping in briefly to leave a few thoughts again… today was designated the day to venture to the cemeteries and leave some flowers and spread a bit of holiday spirit and with everyone else leaving flowers the cemeteries were beginning to look a lot like Christmas also…

So Bree and I first ventured to the cemetery where my parents and Kathy’s parents are.. and they are buried next to each other so that corner of the cemetery should be a lively one indeed!!… 😀 left my flowers there ( as I do every year).. I made all the flower arrangements myself, did them yesterday..

Then we ventured to the National cemetery where Kathy is… for this one time will post the marker for members of the family, and friends, that have not seen the stone… the first one is without the flowers….

stone without flowers

The second is with the flowers, the VA placed the wreath as they did every grave….

Stone with flowers

Mission accomplished, so after popping into the store to get a few things, ventured back home with Christmas taken care of and can now rest, relax and reminisce and enjoy the holidays… to plot and charter new courses… well, maybe not today as it seems Bree has other plans… 😀

Such as it is, on the path least traveled…. not sure if I will return before Christmas but I will be back again one day, Fate be willin’ and the creeks don’t rise….

Good music, snow or no snow… 😀

Preparing for the holidays on the path least traveled…

Dear Diary Page 45…

Dear Diary,

Stopping in briefly to leave a few thoughts before getting on with the day and holiday… weather today much like the weekend, dreary and rainy…
Did do some reminiscing over the weekend (will do some more as time goes along), specially all the Christmas’s past.. and the presents I didn’t get.. made a list for Santa, managed to keep it under 50 pages… 😀

letter to santa

Decided I had better check to make sure I had all the “fixing’s” for Christmas day… checked the pantry..


Then I checked the fridge……


Kind of reminded me of a slogan of a store that was in the area years back, the name of the store was Huey’s Bargain Barn and on the sign out front where one entered the building were the words; “Huey says; if it is not on the shelf, look on the floor, if it is not on the floor, we ain’t got it no more”…

While checking the pantry, took time to look at the lovely cards from family and friends on the pantry door…

christmas cards

Well, Diary, better scoot and get on with the day, chores, tasks, preparing for and enjoying the holidays to do on the path least traveled….shall return again one day, Fate be willin’ and the creeks don’t rise…

Will close with Ray Stevens and Andre Rieu… for those that may have presents that say “ don’t open till Christmas” pay close attention to Mr. Stevens… 😀

Let’s get the holiday started Mr. Rieu…

Some thought about the holiday, the yestersdays, the todays and the tomorrows on the path least traveled…

Dear Diary Page 44…

Dear Diary,

Taking a break in the days activities and preparing for the holidays to leave a few thoughts… been a dreary day outdoors here..

dreary day

And talking about rain tonight and tomorrow, not a very pleasant weekend to get in the spirit weather-wise… 😀 but do have presents wrapped…


Bree’s present is in a safe place, for as far as she is concerned it is the holidays and Christmas every day!!.. 😀 also helped Santa get presents sent off should he not have time to deliver personally.. only thing left to do is prepare for, and enjoy, the holidays… Sooooooooooooooooooo, perhaps this may be a good weekend to relax a bit and have some insight about life’s events, past, present and future…

Casually reminisce about the yesterdays and that which brought one to this point in time, the good and bad, love found and love lost, forever wasn’t long enough.. those were the days….

And, of course, live and enjoy today, cherish it because it will never come again, a wonderful day because one “woke up on the green side of the grass” and was able to be here when it came.. a zip-a-dee-do-dah day whatever the circumstances…

And now the tomorrow’s…to contemplate, dream and wonder what lies ahead on the path least traveled…what the tomorrow’s will bring… with change in the universe, technology and all the wonders it is capable of, good or a stranger briefly and share a few hurried thoughts, like ships passing in the night…or perhaps someone disagreeable and hateful, a miserable creature, reminding one how fortunate one is to not be like that.. perhaps meets someone with which one develops a bond, and can share thoughts and words, both public and intimate, to face life’s unknowns…or maybe none of the above… 😀

So tell me Fate, answer me Destiny
You hold the key,
What lies ahead
What awaits me…

Silence, huh?….. not answering, huh?.. Oh well, perhaps when the time is right.. 😀 in either case, tomorrow will be..

Will do all this contemplating and dreaming with some help from Secret Garden, good music to think by….

Wrote a poem about Christmas and no snow some years back on a day very near like today, about the same time of the month, I believe… perhaps a good time to post it…

Christmas Is Coming, White Or Not…….

Tis rain and fog, not a snowflake in sight
Looks more like Christmas in Hawaii, and this I fear,
With the weather forecast in hand
May not be a white Christmas this year!

The tree is trimmed, not as many lights this year
The presents are fewer, but tis the thought that counts,
Maybe not as plentiful, but food being prepared
As Christmas draws near and excitement mounts!

The spirit is in the air, the weather not to matter
And I am caught up in the spirit, I must confess,
So white or no, Merry Christmas to ALL!
And may all your presents be filled…. with love and happiness!!
(penned by Larry “Dutch” Woller, 12-19-2009)

Well, I had better mosey on down the path least traveled, Diary, have taken enough of your time and, like me, the day is still young… 😀 will return again one day, Fate be willin’ and the creeks don’t rise…

HO HO HO he cried as he got into his sleigh
And as he flew off into the night, he said…

Kind of like being old on the path least traveled…

Dear Diary Page 43…

Hello Diary….

Has been a hectic and busy past few days but have but have brought another page of history to a close and now time to move on down the path least traveled…
Were going to do a blog about hobbies but that can wait till the weekend, a dreary weekend forecasted and perhaps a good time to do that….what the topic is to day is being young versus being old… 😀

Have heard the phrase “wish I were young again” a number of times of late and with this being “maintenance” Wednesday, while doing chores and tasks, gave that some thought and I believe I like where I am (I have to anyway physically… 😀 )… unlike when I were young, I have over a half century of knowledge, the mind a storehouse at my call….perhaps more than some because I wasn’t, and am not now, restrained by social or religious ideology… able to venture forth and explore with a open mind.. and the wisdom part comes with when and how to use that knowledge, believe Mark van Doren said it best…

“Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportioned to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I will recall that piece of knowledge and use it better.”

Perhaps can help the world become a better place other than what it is today…

Yes, there is pride but pride tempered by equal amounts of humility for too much pride can be a bad thing… so much for the mind, now the heart… while the body may be old, the heart is not and one can do a lot when…

A heart with a half century of compassion, dreams, understanding, poetry, that believes in rainbows..

A heart with over a half century of has become real love, guarded carefully, not given to anyone or anything in a random manner, not to be taken lightly…. would be wonderful if the whole world had a heart like that… 😀

So, granted the ole body may need a Tylenol from time to time, but with a heart like that for a engine and a mind filled with knowledge guiding it, who would wish to turn back time and return to the wilderness… 😀

Soooooooooooooo, will venture own down the path least traveled, Fate be willin’ and the creeks don’t rise, eyes on the horizon while looking for the rainbow, to find out who or what lies ahead for me and a little dog, Bree… while following the advice of the Seekers with every step…

A passing, some flowers and holiday spirit on the path least traveled

Dear Diary Page 42…

Hello Diary,

Just dropping in to leave some thoughts, been a long week here and bringing it to a close on the path least traveled..

Mom’s life on earth has run its course and she has moved on…she left with dignity and pride.. will bring a page of history to a close next week…


While on the subject of cemeteries, have the flowers and stands on hand..

grave flowers

Will take them out in a couple of weeks and bringing a little holiday cheer and hopefully brighten things up a bit….

Changing the subject a bit, got December’s bill from Ameren… I haven’t been living a sparse, Spartan life but have been watching my usage, using power saving technology when can, and with budget billing, I do not owe Ameren any money!…


Getting ready to do a bit of wrapping…. and thought back in time to some holiday music to wrap by….not only wrapped to this music, but danced to it also…. 😀

Didn’t do much wrapping to this song, but did dance a lot!!!… 😀

Santa left off my Christmas present to be wrapped, he didn’t have time… looks a great deal like a turkey, perhaps he left his supper instead of my present… 😀

my present

Made the mistake of leaving the sack with Bree’s presents close enough to the floor so she could get at them, decided to open her presents early…

Bree's presents

When she was younger she could clear 4 feet straight up and one could not leave anything near the edge of the counter.. she cannot do that these days but the will is still there and trying to figure out a way to get to the counter…. will have to wait till Christmas morning to put her presents out, nose far to sensitivc… 😀

bree and her presents

That is about all for today on the path least traveled, Diary… life is calling so will venture on down the path, Fate be willin’, the creeks don’t rise and it doesn’t snow too much.. 😀

No dancing today but will do some wrapping to this song no doubt…